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Asceticism in the Graeco-Roman World
     

Asceticism in the Graeco-Roman World

by Richard Finn
 

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Asceticism deploys abstention, self-control, and self-denial, to order oneself or a community in relation to the divine. Both its practices and the cultural ideals they expressed were important to pagans, Jews, Christians of different kinds, and Manichees. Richard Finn presents for the first time a combined study of the major ascetic traditions, which have been

Overview

Asceticism deploys abstention, self-control, and self-denial, to order oneself or a community in relation to the divine. Both its practices and the cultural ideals they expressed were important to pagans, Jews, Christians of different kinds, and Manichees. Richard Finn presents for the first time a combined study of the major ascetic traditions, which have been previously misunderstood by being studied separately. He examines how people abstained from food, drink, sexual relations, sleep, and wealth; what they meant by their behaviour; and how they influenced others in the Graeco-Roman world. Against this background, the book charts the rise of monasticism in Egypt, Asia Minor, Syria, and North Africa, assessing the crucial role played by the third-century exegete, Origen, and asks why monasticism developed so variously in different regions.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'... an invaluable introductory work ... Finn successfully presents the multitude of practices and beliefs composing the larger ascetic traditions of the Greco-Roman world that Christian asceticism was constructed with and at times constructed against.' The Expository Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780511699146
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
07/02/2009
Series:
Key Themes in Ancient History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
510 KB

Meet the Author

Richard Finn OP is a Dominican friar and currently Regent of Blackfriars Hall at Oxford University, where he is a member of the Theology faculty and of the Classics faculty. He most recently published Almsgiving in the Later Roman Empire in 2006.

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